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Swann drink-drive case goes ahead

The drink driving trial of England cricketer Graeme Swann will go ahead despite his solicitor arguing a sample of blood used as evidence was unlawful, a district judge ruled.

Off-spinner Swann, who is with the England team contesting the Ashes series in Australia, was stopped by officers on patrol in the West Bridgford area of Nottingham on April 2 and later charged with drink driving.

At a previous hearing Nottingham Magistrates' Court heard how he had enjoyed three or four glasses of white wine earlier in the evening to celebrate his birthday.

When he returned to his £350,000 detached house in West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire, he found one of his and wife Sarah's two cats stuck under the floorboards after builders had been working on their home.

Unable to find a screwdriver to undo the floorboards, Swann decided to drive his new white Porsche Cayenne to the nearest 24-hour Asda to buy a set of screwdrivers, the court heard.

At Nottingham Magistrates' Court Phillip Lucas, Swann's solicitor, argued for no case to answer because he said that of two samples of blood taken from Swann on that night, it was the second that was analysed when the first was suitable for testing.

This meant that the second sample, which showed Swann's blood had 83mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood, which is over the legal limit of 80mg, was unlawful because the first sample should always be used if suitable, Mr Lucas said.

He also said Swann had consented to giving the first sample of blood but not the second.

After listening to half a day's legal submissions from Mr Lucas and prosecutor Tara Kelly, District Judge Julia Newton decided Swann's trial should go ahead.

Swann's case was listed for a further two day hearing at the court and adjourned until February 15.

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